Saturday, September 28, 2013

IT Job Titles

·         Applications Engineer
·         Chief Technology Officer
·         Chief Information Officer
·         Computer and Information Systems Manager
·         Database Administrator
·         Help Desk Technician
·         Information Technology Director
·         Information Technology Manager
·         Management Information Systems Director
·         Network Architect
·         Network Engineer
·         Network System Administrator
·         Programmer
·         Programmer Analyst
·         Security Specialist
·         Senior Applications Engineer
·         Senior Database Administrator
·         Senior Network Architect
·         Senior Network Engineer
·         Senior Network System Administrator
·         Senior Programmer
·         Senior Programmer Analyst
·         Senior Security Specialist
·         Senior Software Engineer
·         Senior Support Specialist
·         Senior System Administrator
·         Senior System Analyst
·         Senior System Architect
·         Senior System Designer
·         Senior Systems Analyst
·         Senior Systems Software Engineer
·         Senior Web Administrator
·         Senior Web Developer
·         Software Engineer
·         Software Quality Assurance Analyst
·         Support Specialist
·         System Administrator
·         System Analyst
·         System Architect
·         System Designer
·         Systems Analyst
·         Systems Software Engineer
·         Technical Specialist
·         Telecommunications Specialist
·         Web Administrator
·         Web Developer
·         Webmaster

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Saturday, September 21, 2013

What is the SDLC ?

The Software Development Life Cycle is a process that ensures good software is built.  Each phase in the life cycle has its own process and deliverable that feed into the next phase.  There are typically 5 phases starting with the analysis and requirements gathering and ending with the implementation.  Let’s look in greater detail at each phase:

Requirements Gathering/Analysis
This phase is critical to the success of the project.  Expectations (whether of a client or your team) need to be fleshed out in great detail and documented.  This is an iterative process with much communication taking place between stakeholders, end users and the project team.  The following techniques can be used to gather requirements:
  • Identify and capture stakeholder requirements using customer interviews and surveys.
  • Build multiple use cases to describe each action that a user will take in the new system.
  • Prototypes can be built to show the client what the end product will look like.  Tools likeOmnigraffleHotGloo and Balsalmiq are great for this part of the process.
In a corporate setting, this means taking a look at your customers, figuring out what they want, and then designing what a successful outcome would look like in a new bit of software.
Technical design requirements are prepared in this phase by lead development staff that can include architects and lead developers.  The Business Requirements are used to define how the application will be written.  Technical requirements will detail database tables to be added, new transactions to be defined, security processes and hardware and system requirements.
Let’s look in more detail at some of the activities involved in this stage:
Risk analysis 
  • Threats and vulnerabilities which may arise from interactions with other systems.
  • External or legacy code needs to be analyzed to determine if there are security vulnerabilities.
  • High-risk privacy projects could require review with a legal department. This review should consider what personal data to collect, how to collect it, and permissions/authorizations to make changes. This type of review is especially necessary with corporate projects.
Functional Specifications 
  • Includes a description of interface requirements such as definition of data entry fields (allow numeric or alpha only, can it be left blank?)
  • Important details, like: can date entered be before current date? What timezone will user logins default to?
  • Workflow – after clicking approve button, which screen appears next?
  • Audit trail for every update on the database. This is where error monitoring and logging tools can be useful.
Non-Functional Specifications
  • Extensibility of the system – will current system easily allow new enhancements or features with the next rollout? This is critical for any application that you’ll be adding new features and updating often.
  • Has the current or future capacity been analyzed for database requirements? Will the current build plan result in capacity issues shortly after you finish building?
  • Performance and response time – Has the expected response time been determined?
  • Resource Constraints – Are there constraints that need to be taken into consideration in this phase? Common ones include disk space, bandwidth, etc.
This phase is the actual coding and unit testing of the process by the development team.  After each stage, the developer may demonstrate the work accomplished to the Business Analysts and tweaks and enhancements may be required.  It’s important in this phase for developers to be open-minded and flexible if any changes are introduced.  This is normally the longest phase of the SDLC.  The finished product here is input to the Testing phase.
Once the application is migrated to a test environment, different types of testing will be performed including integration and system testing.  User acceptance testing is the last part of testing and is performed by the end users to ensure the system meets their expectations.  At this point, defects may be found and more work may be required in the analysis, design or coding.  Once sign-off is obtained by all relevant parties, implementation and deployment can begin.

The size of the project will determine the complexity of the deployment.  Training may be required for end users, operations and on-call IT staff.  Roll-out of the system may be performed in stages starting with one branch then slowly adding all locations or it could be a full blown implementation.
One of two methods can be followed in a SDLC process.  Waterfall is the more traditional model and has a well structured plan and requirements to be followed.  This method works well for large projects that may take many months to develop.  The Agile Methodology is more flexible in the requirements, design and coding process and is very iterative.  This process works best for smaller projects and expectations of continuous improvement to the application.  Whether you use one over the other will also depend to a large extent on the corporation and skills of the IT dept.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The 100 Best Jobs

All jobs aren't created equal. In fact, some are simply better than the rest. U.S. News 100 Best Jobs of 2013 are the occupations that offer a mosaic of employment opportunity, good salary, manageable work-life balance, and job security. Some careers offer just the right mix of these components—for instance, our top tier is filled with tech and healthcare jobs—but the list also includes strong showings from occupations in the social services and business sectors. Even construction jobs enter the fray this year. Read more onhow we rank the best jobs, and check out our full list.



(8.4 out of 10)
Ever heard the phrase "Your face is your fortune"? For dentists, our smile is their fortune. They earn their living diagnosing and treating teeth and gums, performing oral surgery, and counseling and educating us on maintaining proper oral health. The profession should grow 21.1 percent by 2020.

Registered Nurse

(8.2 out of 10)
The nursing profession will almost always have great hiring opportunity because of its expanse (from pediatric care to geriatric care, and everything in between). And as a substantial chunk of our population ages, the necessity for qualified RNs intensifies.


(8.2 out of 10)
With excellent job prospects and a solid average salary, the pharmacist profession nabs the No. 3 spot on our list. Possessors of a Pharm.D can anticipate nearly 70,000 available jobs this decade—the brunt in physician offices, outpatient care centers, and nursing homes.

Computer Systems Analyst

(8.2 out of 10)
Think of a computer systems analyst as a tech project manager. He or she is often a liaison between the IT department and a client, and has influence over both the budgetary and technical considerations of a project.


(8.2 out of 10)
At the top of the medical food chain, physicians diagnose and treat patients, plus they instruct on proper diet, hygiene, and disease prevention. And like other jobs in the healthcare industry, physicians will see abundant job growth to 2020.

Database Administrator

(8.0 out of 10)
The more digitized our society becomes, the more important the role of database administrator becomes. By 2020, we'll need about 33,900 new ones to store, organize, manage, and troubleshoot all the content we store on computers.

Software Developer

(7.9 out of 10)
These tech-smart professionals who design, construct, test, and maintain software should see abundant job growth up to the year 2020. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 27.6 percent expansion, or 143,800 new positions.

Physical Therapist

(7.9 out of 10)
Use your training period to start networking and begin your search for physical therapist jobs. Although there will be more than 77,000 jobs in this field this decade, the early birds will be more marketable.

Web Developer

(7.8 out of 10)
"Web developer" might seem like a generic term, but a lot of schooling and skill goes into making a website look good and operate well. According to the Labor Department, about 65,700 new Web developers will enter the working world by 2020.

Dental Hygienist

(7.7 out of 10)
Did you know that dental hygienists make yearly salaries of about $68,250, but many only work part-time? Something else to consider: This profession should grow at a breakneck clip as practices hire more hygienists to boost their patient roster.

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